It is easy to obsess over the state of search and SEO trends and the never ending flux in the SERPS. Anyone who depends on SEO for traffic and resulting bread and butter income will tell you that it really is digital wave riding at it’s finest. One minute your riding your wave as high as can be. Then the next minute you are sinking down to the deepest depths. A place also known as page 10+ of Google search.
Indeed during 2016 the SEO landscape has rolled around quite a bit and rocked a few big boats. Choppy waters aplenty from the arrival of so called artificial intelligence to Google Penguin’s anticipated final update.
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It is more than fair to say that technology is doing more and more to change how SEO functions and works than ever before. Yet as always it is that process of not being entirely sure what new search trends are coming next. Anticipating the next big SEO event but never being absolutely certain how it will play out is what keeps us all on our toes. Of course, has it not always been this way with cagey old Google.
On page optimization for content pages is still very important but equally so is owner intent. Why do you link a blog page to a certain site and why does that site link to you. What and where is the motivation for particular DoFollow links. Google are interested and intrigued in ways that were never really as significant before. The kind of specific interest, particularly with link patterns that during years prior bloggers and site owners may have devoted much less attention to.
SEO Trends and Updates During 2016
With the dust of 2016 barely settled and scattered Google weighed in hard across the last year with multiple updates for its various search features, applications and tools. In particular we saw it’s algorithm continually receiving tweaks and updates all across last year.
Many businesses vanished of the face of the front page SERPS due to search updates on Panda, Penguin, and other search algorithms as they took hold, bit and literally buried some sites that no longer fit what Google wanted to see and index.
SERPs on Google also saw several different variable updates, with some big ups and downs throughout the period. Notable updates and adjustments worth mentioning last year were Google Possum, Penguin 4.0. Also the next Mobile Friendly Update, second revision; designed to reward early mobile adopters and so on.
More Diverse Traffic Sources in 2017
There is generally good news for the money sites though. Bloggers have more and more traffic sources to viably tap especially from Social Media. Platforms such as Pinterest are capable of driving considerable organic volume for those who care enough to invest in building the growth of their boards. In a world where traffic for authority and brand sites is dominated by Google this is no bad thing. Lets call it search relief shall we as it lessens the sting of a penalty or drop in the SERPS.
User Experience in Search
User experience was an important topic throughout 2016, as was the general mobile-friendliness of websites and blogs. Many of the years SEO’s updates were centered heavily around how search audiences can have a better experience browsing through websites, especially on mobile devices. Not just by ensuring that pages and posts load in a mobile responsive way but also load fast and fluidly.
Google has been pushing AMP and secure HTTPS migration for a while now. At the same time Adsense has been cracking down on non compliant mobile ads in the wrong positions such as big ads above the fold. The whole enterprise and culture of change includes focussing on further optimizing pages, posts and refining ad layouts and speed and visual appearances.
For instance eliminating pop-ups, speeding up website page loads with caching and so forth. Not every webmaster is that keen on AMP yet as they can be restrictive to monetize and all sorts of third party web tools just fall over and gasp for air when offered AMP integrations. There is still work to be done in making these technologies appear far more attractive to site operators as they try to monetise their blogs and apps in 2017.
Mobile Search is Booming in 2017
Mobile search in certain verticals has brought more traffic to websites than desktop than ever before. There is still a lot of desktop traffic about in search. Verticals that are tech heavy and often serve big screen content are still seeing high desktop volumes. Geek sites, wallpaper sites and anything that typically serves a lot of media have amazing desktop traffic volumes still.
However mobile is rocketing in more accessible, easy to consume niches. In fact out of 25 or so industry niches, 20 of them see mobile as their first source of traffic, and SEO approaches and practices have had to adapt to make the most of these shifts and changes.
In 2016 for example the SEO industry witnessed these following SEO trends really ramp up speed considerably.
- Less annoying pops on mobile pages
- Extra weight for mobile indexing
- Increased support of schema options within search results
- Introduction of rich cards
- Increased expectancy for shifting to SSL and HTTPS-based implementations
- Surge in demand for greater AMP usage
- Smarter search results overall
- Greater integration of Google Search Console and Google Analytics
- Removal of non advertiser search query volume data in Google AdWords Keyword Planner
- Greater crack down on malware spread by compromised sites
In addition to these changes, Google even added numerous options for website rankings in the search results. Such as the image and video bar. the also added support for knowledge graphics, rich data cards, and even extra weight place on social media carousels. The right side ad bar also took a dive.
Keywords Are Less Significant
Unlike the past keywords have also started to become less significant for Google. This is by way of shifting to evaluating rankings based on the overall relevance of the topic combined with the authority found on the entire website. So single pages are less significant and authority is emerging as one of the most desirable attributes when assessing a web site and it’s link profile. Where once there was page rank, now there is authority, or DA as it is often referred to.
Search Trends in 2017
Expect 2017 to deliver more of the same with greater accuracy and pinpoint refinements. The changes that have completely overhauled the SEO landscape last year will increase in potency and will set the markers for this year.
Changes in certain previous immature areas such as AMP and widespread HTTPS are more than likely to happen. These anticipated trends are still expected to be centered around overall user experience and contentment. As well as improving the mobile optimization even further. HTTPS and serving content securely will become the norm. Those annoying mixed content issues should gradually get less and less.
The Emerging SEO Trends of 2017 Infographic
To learn about these expected SEO trends for 2017 we would like to share this amazing infographic by CJG Digital Marketing. It is a great graphic that help any SEO or team learn how to prepare and take full advantage of these emerging and fast approaching search trends.
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These are all the search and SEO trends that anyone serious about sustainable rankings must take note of in 2017. These are the search trends after all that if subscribed to, will maximize your efforts, and increase your chances of ranking your site or blog very well on the first page.
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